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I’ll give you an example. In the middle of our reorganization as a church – we go to multiple campuses – we’ve just reconstituted what we’re calling a Board of Directors. It is sort of a senior level of eldership that oversees a lot of the policies and procedures for the whole church, and I was meditating on it this week. And I could tell you about all the men on the board. I’ll just tell you of a few. These are new men that were recently added to this board, and the one common thread which I see weaves all their stories together is this, humility. Not that they are humble, but they are pursuing humility by God’s grace.
The last one is James. He was running a drug and alcohol treatment center, I think for the Union Gospel Mission. He was an elder at Doxa Church in West Seattle. He and Pastor Bill were there and I approached them and said, “I think we should partner together,” and turned that building into Mars Hill West Seattle. I don’t know what the building’s worth – $4 million, whatever. He said, “Well what’s the deal?” I said, “Give us the building, resign as elders, work through the membership process, work through the eldership process. I guarantee you nothing – no power, no job, no eldership. If you meet the qualifications and the men vote you in, we’ll make you an elder, but I guarantee you no job. Nothing. If you believe it’s right for Jesus, give us the building, resign, give up all power of authority, give up your position. Walk away from it all for the cause of Jesus.”
He said, “Okay, I think it’s best for Jesus.” He resigned, voted to hand us the building and the people. Humbly went through the eldership process. After he finished the membership process, oversees our drug and alcohol addiction recovery. We just voted him onto the Board of Directors. Why? Because God opposes the proud and he gives grace to the humble.
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In the above document Pastor A. J. Hamilton wrote the following:
In early 2006, Mars Hill first became a multi-site church when we launched the Shoreline campus with live-streaming over the Web. This meant that at times, the sermon would look like a badly dubbed Samurai movie or Pastor Mark's image would explode into a messy digital kaleidoscope of color. We also increased the number of elders from 15 to 24, adding Pastors James Noriega and Bill Clem from Doxa (a former A29 church plant that is now our West Seattle campus). Campus planting took off for a season and Bellevue, Downtown, Olympia and Federal Way launched and continue to grow, relaunch into new facilities and plan for further expansion through new works.
Mars Hill Re-organization document, previously sent to members on June 23, 2007
Initially, Pastor Lief Moi was uncomfortable with the transition plans and uncertain that his conscience would allow him to continue as an Elder of Mars Hill Church. This precipitated several tense and difficult meetings for us as an Elder team, striving for unity but also the most effective way to organize and lead our church. After a few weeks off with his family to think and pray, Lief Moi resigned from his position on staff as well as his office as Elder of Mars Hill Church. Loving our brother and unwilling to let this matter go without every possible effort for reconciliation Pastor Mark, and Pastor Bill Clem spent hours laboring over Lief’s concerns and frustrations. Following the extremely fruitful meeting with Pastors Mark and Bill, Lief sought reconciliation with several pastors who felt they had been wronged in the matter by him, and submitted himself humbly for restoration as an Elder of the church. The Elders assembled, discussed the matter soberly, and after much prayer and discussion voted to restore Lief as an Elder of Mars Hill Church and a member of the Ballard Campus team. Lief will continue to employ his unique gifts, which many of our members have been blessed by for years, to strengthen faith, fortify marriages, and equip the saints for acts of service as we love our city with Jesus. This process put many of our men’s faith, endurance, constitution, and their trust in Jesus to the test. It drove many men deep into God’s Word for wisdom, seeking His discernment and leading through prayer. Despite sleepless nights and frayed nerves, we are truly a stronger Elder body because of this incredible labor God has shepherded us through. In His wisdom, He has made us bear this weighty issue as we move to a structure that distributes and delegates authority and mandates more trust and confidence in one another. Praying together as 24 men united by our love of Jesus and His great commission, it is evident He has uniquely tempered us for the coming season as a lovingly unified yet honest and effective team.